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Our Approach to EBV
In a perfect world where our minerals were balanced, we would NOT be able to harbor these gross pests like parasites, yeast, bacteria, and viruses. Bioavailable copper is the MOST critical nutrient for keeping these nasty things at bay. Nearly everyone has a copper imbalance and other mineral deficiencies at this point- and these are just 2 of the major issues out there that are plaguing people.
That being said, there is only so much progress you can make on a healing protocol without addressing any underlying issues that you may have. Epstein-Barr Virus is one of the many things that can be blocking our healing. And it is very common to be dealing with a trifecta of issues: EBV, parasites and excess yeast. (Again, we need copper to control all of those! It’s important to address copper imbalances alongside any treatment you may do against these things.)
What is EBV?
Epstein-Barr Virus (or EBV) is one of the most common viral infections out there. About 95% of people end up with EBV by the time they’re an adult. It’s a herpes type virus (type 4 to be exact, where as the cold sore herpes virus is type 1, and genital herpes is type 2). Usually we get EBV early in life and it is just a typical infection, or as we get older it can present as mononucleosis. Many people also associate a history of strep with EBV as well. When we get it, we are supposed to just go through the illness and that’s that. It goes dormant and it should never be a problem again.
However these days, we’re so toxic and depleted that it is more common to see infections reactivated and stay in a chronic state (whether low level or severe), and usually it is common to see a person with several infections active at once. This is why foundational care is so important- it’s not JUST about the infection. It’s also about our terrain! You can’t just work on killing off the pathogens and beating the infections. You need to make your body a place that isn’t hospitable to these infections.
This article has a great further explanation on what EBV is exactly.
Testing for EBV
The best blood tests to get are:
- EBV Early Antigen (EA) IgG
- EBV Viral Capsid Ab IgM
- EBV Nuclear Antigen IgG
- EBV Viral Capsid IgG
With the blood tests, if any of them come up positive and you have never treated for EBV before, it is a very big indicator that EBV will be an issue you have to address. You can also retest these levels every few months to keep an eye on them- they should decrease as you heal.
The GI Map also has EBV on its extensive list of what it tests for. GI Map tests for the DNA of these pathogens too, which is helpful for infections like EBV.
Symptoms and associated illnesses
Since our immune system is what is needed to properly fend off viruses, it is no wonder how many auto-immune diseases are associated with EBV. Lupus, hypothyroidism, RA, fibromyalgia, MS, Meniere’s disease, and cancer all have links with EBV.
Common symptoms include: Anxiety, dizziness, chest tightness, chest pain, esophageal spasms, heart palpitations, insomnia, tingling feet and hands, and asthma, as well as a chronic feeling of being sick (swollen lymph nodes, stuffed up nose, sore throat)- these are even more apparent with chronic infection.
(can I say that I personally suffered with esophageal spasms about 6 years ago. I know that this is also due to a magnesium deficiency and poor gut function, as well as a hiatal hernia but I cannot help but be in awe that this is related to EBV- which they had confirmed via blood test 2 years prior to me experiencing all of this. “Esophageal spasms” is not a phrase you see or hear very often!)
There is also a HUGE connection between gut inflammation and EBV. Apparently EBV likes to hang out in inflammatory lesions in the gut. You can read an amazing article about this here. Please read it! It also talks about the connection between parasites and EBV. If you start to work on parasites, you might deal with EBV flare ups- take it from me, this is TRUE!
So for ANY chronic underlying infection, we would first look at basic foundational care. For some people, if we can work on getting the body stronger it can start taking care of the underlying issues like EBV, parasites, Lyme, etc. After your first bout with mono or strep, EBV usually goes dormant and it can be reactivated during times of stress, pregnancy, or if you end up with another infection or have mold exposure. Usually when we first get EBV, we’re treated with conventional methods
Monolaurin is one of the main recommendations I make. The more I read about it, the more I cannot fathom why it isn’t more popular. Monolaurin is formed from lauric acid, which is a key component in breast milk as well as coconut. Considering that people were urged to formula feed for decades, as well as avoid high fat foods like coconut it is no wonder that people have been missing out on this critical nutrient. The anti-microbial properties of monolaurin were first recognized in 1966 so it is not a new piece of knowledge.
Monolaurin is possibly the answer for helping manage the antibiotic resistance we have going on. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-fungal. Coconut oil and other coconut products are about 50% lauric acid, but there is no way to know how much is converted into monolaurin in the body. Coconut products can help immensely but taking an actual monolaurin supplement is the best way to get the full healing benefits.
The bacteria that monolaurin can tackle includes:
*Helicobacter pylori (gram-negative)
*Hemophilus influenzae (gram-negative)
* Groups A, B, F, and G streptococci
* Gram-positive organisms
* Gram-negative organisms if pretreated with a chelator
The viruses that monolaurin can treat include:
- Human immunodeficiency virus HIV-1, HIV+
- Measles virus
- Herpes simplex virus-1
- Herpes simplex virus-2
- Herpes viridae (all)
- Human lymphotropic viruses (type 1)
- Vesicular stomatitis virus
- Visna virus
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Influenza virus
- Sarcoma virus
- Syncytial virus
- Rubeola virus
Dosage of monolaurin can vary for people. Even 2.4 grams a day can be enough to lighten the viral load for someone. (Source). Lauricidin is a brand name of the most popular monolaurin out there so you can read more about it on their website. They recommend 1 teaspoon (3000mg) 2-3 times a day, but you have to worked up very slowly to avoid a harsh healing reaction. Or you can start slow with just capsules so you can gauge your reaction. Inspired Nutrition is also another great brand for the pellets.
Other tips for anti-viral supportthat can help EBV:
Supplements or herbs that can help:
Cat’s claw, ginger, red root, astragalus, monolaurin, whole food C, echinachea, goldenseal, elderberry, and getting on a mineral balancing program to determine individual nutrient need is best. Get your foundation fixed first before delving into an attacking protocol. Also, working on copper balancing and working your way up to including beef liver will be very important (both copper and vitamin A are crucial for immune health). I would work with a holistic health care practitioner to determine the best course of action for you though.
Using binders like this BioToxin Binder can help immensely as well. It helps with mopping up the by-products of viruses, bacteria, mold, and parasites. It doesn’t mess with nutrient absorption either- and it can be taken with or without food.
Other helpers for EBV: Lymph and Immune Support
Rebounding, healing your liver, addressing any parasite infection, and keeping your lymph moving. I was mostly inspired to write this post because after I started rebounding, I had what felt like strep for almost 2 weeks. It DEFINITELY activated something in my body and even though it took me a few weeks to get my strength back, I feel like I must have released a lot of old junk in that time period.
Also please keep in mind with any healing protocol you may experience healing reactions. This is why it’s best to work on foundational care first to help get detox pathways open and to help get you stronger. Please read about this here to get a better understanding of it.
Emotional trauma and chronic stress can actually SUPPRESS the immune system, which will make it easier for chronic infections to stay put. Healing from past traumas is a huge missing link for many people!
Important Nutrients for immune health:Vitamin A (retinol), whole food C, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium
Looking to get on a nutritional balancing program? HTMA can determine your metablic rate as well as show whether you are susceptible to viruses like EBV. Click here to learn more: HTMA with Sassy. Once minerals start to get balanced, it is a lot easier for us to address underlying infections!
More reading about EBV (and sources):